I WISH I LOVED MYSELF MORE WHEN I WAS PREGNANT
I noticed recently that I too often find myself looking in the mirror at my postpartum body and picking it to pieces; what I don't like, what has changed forever, what I will never get back and the fact that I have lost all confidence I ever had in myself.
What I don’t give myself credit for, is that I grew another human being and carried him for 9 long months and then fed him for 8. 17 months of my body transforming to not only nurture me but also another person.
It saddens me when I look through my photos and struggle to find ones of when I was carrying our son, as I hated the way I looked and felt, and I know these feelings contributed to the reason I didn’t entirely enjoy being pregnant.
My whole life I dreamt about the day I would find out I was pregnant and excitedly tell my husband and our families and friends, glow for 9 months and then magically a baby would appear. However, I may have watched a few too many movies.
Finding out I was pregnant was without a doubt a highlight, I also lived for the kicks and growing belly, what I didn’t love was the growing everything else and the way I did not properly prepare myself for what my body was about to go through. It didn’t help when I started showing as early as 12 weeks too.
Why do people also think it is ok to tell you they have never seen you with weight on before or how tired you look. I know many wouldn’t even flinch at these comments and just brush it off. My anxious mind on the other hand, let them consume me and would then think about them every time I got dressed, making sure I covered up every inch of my body I was insecure about (which was the majority of it). There is also the mental struggle of focusing too much on the numbers on the scales.
Why are we so hard on ourselves? Our brains, although so amazing, can be so evil at the same time.
If I could go back and tell my freshly pregnant self one thing, it would be to slow down and enjoy every moment. Even the heartburn and sleepless nights, because it is all beyond worth it. It is such an incredible feeling knowing that I was able to give this little human life and get to love him for the rest of mine.
So, if you are reading this and feel or felt the same way, cut yourself some slack and remember the remarkable thing you are doing / have done. You are beautiful, strong, selfless and pure magic.
Give yourself time. 11 months later, I am still bouncing back but trying to find more reasons to love my postpartum body. Doing something for me each day helps make me feel important too. How are we expected to care for everyone else, if we aren’t taking good enough care of ourselves. Get some fresh air, go for a walk, wash your hair, put a mask on, run a bath, light a candle; everyone has their own ways of unwinding.
YOU’RE BLOOMING MUMMA, don't forget that.